McMASTER: STAY HOME IF POSSIBLE: Hours after the News & Press went to press last Monday, Gov. Henry McMaster dropped the other shoe – he issued an executive order requiring that all S.C. residents either be “at home or at work” if possible.
The order went into effect April 7. What does this mean for you? It means the governor wants you to either be at home or at work at this point in the coronavirus crisis, unless you need to go out for essential errands, such as buying groceries or picking up prescription medication.
Most states had already issued similar orders, and McMaster was under increasing pressure to do the same.
McMaster’s order limits the number of people allowed in stores based on square footage; it says, “All retail business still operating (must) limit customer activity by only allowing five customers per 1,000 square feet, or 20 percent of their posted capacity, in a store, whichever is less.”
The governor had already issued a series of orders limiting commerce during the virus crisis and limiting public assemblies to no more than three people. It wasn’t enough, he said last week. “Too many people … are on the roads. Too many people are on the waters. Too many people are in the stores. Too many people are not complying with our requests,” he said.
Violation of this order is a misdemeanor and carries a sentence of 30 days in jail and/or a $100 fine for each day of violation.
VIRUS CASE AT GEORGIA-PACIFIC: An employee at Georgia-Pacific’s Darlington plant has tested positive for the coronavirus, WPDE-TV reported last week.
Company spokesman Tom Strother told WPDE the worker informed company officials April 6 he had tested positive. The employee hadn’t been to work since March 30, WPDE said. Strother told the TV station that officials have notified those who worked closely with the employee.
TIGHTER RULES AT WAL-MART: Even before McMaster’s order, Wal-Mart, Darlington’s biggest retailer, had begun limiting how many people are allowed inside its stores at one time, cutting its capacity to about 20 percent.
“While many of our customers have been following the advice of the medical community regarding social distancing and safety, we have been concerned to still see some behaviors in our stores that put undue risk on our people,” Wal-Mart executive Dacona Smith said.
BEASLEY: ‘THE DOCTOR CLEARED ME’: Society Hill native and former governor David Beasley appears to have recovered from his coronavirus infection. “I haven’t had fever in 10 days, and the doctor cleared me last week,” Beasley told the (Florence) Morning News in an April 8 story. “Now, I’m trying to get energy back, stamina back. It’s been over 3½ weeks now. … It was never awful, but it’s obviously been an ordeal.”
FIBER INDUSTRIES VIRUS PROBLEMS: Darlington’s Fiber Industries said it planned “a temporary layoff” of an undetermined number of employees after several workers had to be sent home because of coronavirus concerns. It was not known whether those employees had tested positive for the virus.
BY BOBBY BRYANT